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Movie Review: Let the Hunger Games Begin

This movie depicts a dark, yet believable, post-apocalyptic future in which the central government controls its outlying population through various cruelties. Some of them are the “Hunger Games”, which are an annual event for a battle of life and death in order to win a year’s supply of food.

Alyce Gilligan, April 2012, RELEVANT Magazine:

Why the story of Katniss Everdeen resonates with so many readers.

The Hunger Games is not the first young adult book series to spawn a film and a frenzied fanbase. It isn’t the first to provide a compelling love triangle or to lure readers into the late hours of the night with its fast-pace and simple phrasing. It isn’t the first to inspire costumes, tattoos and curious fan fiction. But it is the first in a long time to rely not on magic or handsome vampires to captivate its readers; rather, when they escape into Katniss’ head, they aren’t escaping much at all. They are being confronted by the harsh realities of a not-so-unbelievable future, and the responsibilities that it entails.

For those unfamiliar with the story, The Hunger Games is an annual event that recruits children for a public fight-to-the-death in order to win a year’s supply of food from the wealthy Capitol for their district. Though this concept is a new level of savage, even the series’ most adolescent fans can see the links between the dystopian world of Panem and our own. The book makes no secret of the fact that its Capitol and 12 (or 13) districts represent the deteriorating remains of today’s United States. It depicts an exaggerated version of the country’s wealth gap, society’s celebration of vanity and indifference to violence, the poorer classes’ growing unrest and distrust, even reality TV’s perverse and inescapable obsession with watching people destroy themselves and each other. In a time when social causes can become trends and Occupy protests can dominate headlines for months, it is no wonder America was ready for Katniss Everdeen to step forward (…)

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